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Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

nvidia-settings (1)


nvidia-settings - configure the NVIDIA graphics driver


nvidia-settings [options]
nvidia-settings [options] --no-config
nvidia-settings [options] --load-config-only
nvidia-settings [options] {--query=attr | --assign=attr=value} ...
nvidia-settings [options] --glxinfo

Options: [-vh] [--config=configfile] [-c ctrl-display]
[--verbose={none | errors | deprecations | warnings | all}]
[--describe={all | list | attribute_name}]

attr has the form:


nvidia-settings(1)          General Commands Manual         nvidia-settings(1)

       nvidia-settings - configure the NVIDIA graphics driver

       nvidia-settings [options]
       nvidia-settings [options] --no-config
       nvidia-settings [options] --load-config-only
       nvidia-settings [options] {--query=attr | --assign=attr=value} ...
       nvidia-settings [options] --glxinfo

       Options: [-vh] [--config=configfile] [-c ctrl-display]
                [--verbose={none | errors | deprecations | warnings | all}]
                [--describe={all | list | attribute_name}]

       attr has the form:

       The nvidia-settings utility is a tool for configuring the NVIDIA graph-
       ics driver.  It operates by communicating with  the  NVIDIA  X  driver,
       querying and updating state as appropriate.  This communication is done
       via the NV-CONTROL, GLX, XVideo, and RandR X extensions.

       Values such as brightness and gamma,  XVideo  attributes,  temperature,
       and OpenGL settings can be queried and configured via nvidia-settings.

       When  nvidia-settings  starts,  it  reads the current settings from its
       configuration file and sends those settings to the X server.  Then,  it
       displays  a  graphical user interface (GUI) for configuring the current
       settings.  When nvidia-settings exits, it queries the current  settings
       from the X server and saves them to the configuration file.

       -v, --version
              Print the nvidia-settings version and exit.

       -h, --help
              Print usage information and exit.

              Use  the  configuration  file  CONFIG  rather  than  the default

       -c CTRL-DISPLAY, --ctrl-display=CTRL-DISPLAY
              Control the specified X display.  If this option is  not  given,
              then  nvidia-settings  will  control  the  display  specified by
              '--display' ; if that is not given, then the  $DISPLAY  environ-
              ment variable is used.

       -l, --load-config-only
              Load  the  configuration file, send the values specified therein
              to the X server, and exit.  This mode of operation is useful  to
              place in your xinitrc file, for example.

       -n, --no-config
              Do  not  load the configuration file.  This mode of operation is
              useful if nvidia-settings has difficulties starting due to prob-
              lems with applying settings in the configuration file.

       -r, --rewrite-config-file
              Write  the X server configuration to the configuration file, and
              exit, without starting the graphical user interface.  See  EXAM-
              PLES section.

       -V VERBOSE, --verbose=VERBOSE
              Controls  how  much  information  is  printed.  Valid values are
              'none' (do not print status  messages),  'errors'  (print  error
              messages),  'deprecations'  (print  error  and  deprecation mes-
              sages), 'warnings' (print error, deprecation, and  warning  mes-
              sages),  and  'all' (print error, deprecation, warning and other
              informational messages).  By default, 'deprecations' is set.

       -a ASSIGN, --assign=ASSIGN
              The ASSIGN argument to the '--assign' command line option is  of
              the form:

                {DISPLAY}/{attribute name}[{display devices}]={value}

              This assigns the attribute {attribute name} to the value {value}
              on  the  X  Display  {DISPLAY}.   {DISPLAY}  follows  the  usual
              {host}:{display}.{screen}  syntax  of  the  DISPLAY  environment
              variable and is optional; when it is not specified, then  it  is
              implied  following  the  same rule as the --ctrl-display option.
              If the X screen is not specified, then the assignment is made to
              all  X  screens.   Note that the '/' is only required when {DIS-
              PLAY} is present.

              {DISPLAY} can additionally include  a  target  specification  to
              direct  an  assignment  to  something other than an X screen.  A
              target specification is contained within brackets  and  consists
              of  a  target type name, a colon, and the target id.  The target
              type name can be one of screen , gpu , framelock , vcs ,  gvi  ,
              fan  , thermalsensor , svp , or dpy ; the target id is the index
              into the list of targets (for that  target  type).   The  target
              specification  can be used in {DISPLAY} wherever an X screen can
              be   used,   following   the    syntax    {host}:{display}[{tar-
              get_type}:{target_id}].  See the output of

                nvidia-settings -q all

              for  information  on  which  target types can be used with which
              attributes.  See the output of

                 nvidia-settings -q screens -q gpus -q framelocks  -q  vcs  -q
              gvis -q fans -q thermalsensors -q svps -q dpys

              for lists of targets for each target type.

              The  [{display  devices}] portion is also optional; if it is not
              specified,  then  the  attribute  is  assigned  to  all  display

              Some examples:

                -a FSAA=5
                -a localhost:0.0/DigitalVibrance[CRT-0]=0
                -a [gpu:0]/DigitalVibrance[DFP-1]=63

       -q QUERY, --query=QUERY
              The  QUERY  argument  to the '--query' command line option is of
              the form:

                {DISPLAY}/{attribute name}[{display devices}]

              This queries the current value of the attribute {attribute name}
              on  the X Display {DISPLAY}.  The syntax is the same as that for
              the  '--assign'  option,  without  '=  {value}'  ;  specify  '-q
              screens',  '-q  gpus', '-q framelocks', '-q vcs', '-q gvis', '-q
              fans' , '-q thermalsensors', '-q svps', or '-q dpys' to query  a
              list  of  X  screens, GPUs, Frame Lock devices, Visual Computing
              Systems, SDI Input Devices, Fans, Thermal Sensors, 3D Vision Pro
              Transceivers, or Display Devices, respectively, that are present
              on the X Display {DISPLAY}.   Specify  '-q  all'  to  query  all

       -t, --terse
              When  querying  attribute values with the '--query' command line
              option, only print the current value, rather than the more  ver-
              bose  description  of  the  attribute, its valid values, and its
              current value.

       -d, --display-device-string
              When printing attribute values  in  response  to  the  '--query'
              option,  if  the attribute value is a display device mask, print
              the value as a list of display devices (e.g.,  "CRT-0,  DFP-0"),
              rather than a hexadecimal bit mask (e.g., 0x00010001).

       -g, --glxinfo
              Print GLX Information for the X display and exit.

       -e DESCRIBE, --describe=DESCRIBE
              Prints  information about a particular attribute.  Specify 'all'
              to list the descriptions of all attributes.  Specify  'list'  to
              list the attribute names without a descriptions.

       -p PAGE, --page=PAGE
              The  PAGE  argument to the '--page' commandline option selects a
              particular page in the nvidia-settings user interface to display
              upon  starting nvidia-settings.  Valid values are the page names
              in the tree view on the left side of  the  nvidia-settings  user
              interface; e.g.,

                --page="X Screen 0"

              Because  some  page  names  are not unique (e.g., a "PowerMizer"
              page is present under each GPU), the page name can optionally be
              prepended with the name of the parent X Screen or GPU page, fol-
              lowed by a comma.  E.g.,

                --page="GPU 0 - (Quadro 6000), PowerMizer"

              The first page with a name matching the PAGE  argument  will  be
              used.  By default, the "X Server Information" page is displayed.

       -L, --list-targets-only
              When  performing  an attribute query (from the '--query' command
              line option) or an attribute  assignment  (from  the  '--assign'
              command  line  option  or  when loading an ~/.nvidia-settings-rc
              file), nvidia-settings identifies one or more targets  on  which
              to query/assign the attribute.

              The  '--list-targets-only'  option will cause nvidia-settings to
              list the targets on which the query/assign operation would  have
              been  performed,  without  actually performing the operation(s),
              and exit.

       -w, --write-config, --no-write-config
              Save the configuration file on exit (enabled by default).

       1.   Layout of the nvidia-settings GUI
       2.   How OpenGL Interacts with nvidia-settings
       3.   Loading Settings Automatically
       4.   Command Line Interface
       5.   X Display Names in the Config File
       6.   Connecting to Remote X Servers
       7.   Licensing
       8.   TODO

   1. Layout of the nvidia-settings GUI
       The nvidia-settings GUI is organized with a  list  of  different  cate-
       gories on the left side.  Only one entry in the list can be selected at
       once, and the selected category controls which "page" is  displayed  on
       the right side of the nvidia-settings GUI.

       The  category  list  is organized in a tree: each X screen contains the
       relevant subcategories beneath it.  Similarly, the Display Devices cat-
       egory for a screen contains all the enabled display devices beneath it.
       Besides each X screen, the other top level category is "nvidia-settings
       Configuration", which configures behavior of the nvidia-settings appli-
       cation itself.

       Along the bottom of the nvidia-settings GUI, from left to right, is:

       1)     a status bar which indicates the most recently altered option;

       2)     a Help button that toggles the display of a  help  window  which
              provides  a detailed explanation of the available options in the
              current page; and

       3)     a Quit button to exit nvidia-settings.

       Most  options  throughout  nvidia-settings  are  applied   immediately.
       Notable  exceptions  are  OpenGL  options which are only read by OpenGL
       when an OpenGL application starts.

       Details about the options on each page of nvidia-settings are available
       in the help window.

   2. How OpenGL Interacts with nvidia-settings
       When an OpenGL application starts, it downloads the current values from
       the X driver, and then reads the environment (see  APPENDIX  E:  OPENGL
       ENVIRONMENT  VARIABLE  SETTINGS  in  the  README).  Settings from the X
       server override OpenGL's default values, and settings from the environ-
       ment override values from the X server.

       For  example,  by default OpenGL uses the FSAA setting requested by the
       application (normally, applications do not request any FSAA).  An  FSAA
       setting specified in nvidia-settings would override the OpenGL applica-
       tion's request.  Similarly,  the  __GL_FSAA_MODE  environment  variable
       will  override the application's FSAA setting, as well as any FSAA set-
       ting specified in nvidia-settings.

       Note that an OpenGL application only  retrieves  settings  from  the  X
       server  when  it  starts, so if you make a change to an OpenGL value in
       nvidia-settings, it will only apply to OpenGL  applications  which  are
       started after that point in time.

   3. Loading Settings Automatically
       The  NVIDIA  X driver does not preserve values set with nvidia-settings
       between runs of the X server (or even between logging  in  and  logging
       out  of  X,  with  xdm(1), gdm, or kdm ).  This is intentional, because
       different users may have different preferences, thus these settings are
       stored on a per-user basis in a configuration file stored in the user's
       home directory.

       The configuration file is named ~/.nvidia-settings-rc.  You can specify
       a  different  configuration  file  name  with the --config command line

       After you have run nvidia-settings once and have generated a configura-
       tion file, you can then run:

            nvidia-settings --load-config-only

       at  any  time  in  the  future to upload these settings to the X server
       again.  For example, you might place the above command in your ~/.xini-
       trc  file  so that your settings are applied automatically when you log
       in to X.

       Your .xinitrc file,  which  controls  what  X  applications  should  be
       started  when  you  log  into  X (or startx), might look something like

            nvidia-settings --load-config-only &
            xterm &


            nvidia-settings --load-config-only &

       If you do not already have an ~/.xinitrc file, then  chances  are  that
       xinit(1) is using a system-wide xinitrc file.  This system wide file is
       typically here:


       To use it, but also have  nvidia-settings  upload  your  settings,  you
       could create an ~/.xinitrc with the contents:

            nvidia-settings --load-config-only &
            . /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

       System administrators may choose to place the nvidia-settings load com-
       mand directly in the system xinitrc script.

       Please see the xinit(1) man page for  further  details  of  configuring
       your ~/.xinitrc file.

   4. Command Line Interface
       nvidia-settings  has a rich command line interface: all attributes that
       can be manipulated with the GUI can also be queried and  set  from  the
       command  line.   The  command  line  syntax  for querying and assigning
       attributes matches that of the .nvidia-settings-rc configuration file.

       The  --query  option  can  be  used  to  query  the  current  value  of
       attributes.   This will also report the valid values for the attribute.
       You can run nvidia-settings --query all for a complete list  of  avail-
       able  attributes,  what the current value is, what values are valid for
       the attribute, and through which target types (e.g., X  screens,  GPUs)
       the  attributes  can be addressed.  Additionally, individual attributes
       may be specified like this:

               nvidia-settings --query Overlay

       An attribute name may be prepended with an X Display name and a forward
       slash to indicate a different X Display; e.g.:

               nvidia-settings --query localhost:0.0/Overlay

       An attribute name may also just be prepended with the screen number and
       a forward slash:

               nvidia-settings --query 0/Overlay

       in which case the default X Display will be used, but you can  indicate
       to  which X screen to direct the query (if your X server has multiple X
       screens).  If no X screen is specified, then the attribute  value  will
       be  queried for all valid targets of the attribute (eg GPUs, Displays X
       screens, etc).

       Attributes can be addressed through  "target  types".   A  target  type
       indicates  the object that is queried when you query an attribute.  The
       default target type is an X screen, but other possible target types are
       GPUs,  Frame Lock devices, Visual Computing Systems, SDI Input Devices,
       fans, thermal sensors, 3D Vision Pro Transceivers and display devices.

       Target types give you different granularities  with  which  to  perform
       queries  and  assignments.   Since X screens can span multiple GPUs (in
       the case of Xinerama, or SLI), and multiple X screens can exist on  the
       same  GPU,  it  is sometimes useful to address attributes by GPU rather
       than X screen.

       A target specification is contained within brackets and may consist  of
       a  target  type name, a colon, and the target id.  The target type name
       can be one of screen, gpu, framelock,  vcs,  gvi,  fan,  thermalsensor,
       svp,  or  dpy; the target id is the index into the list of targets (for
       that target type).  Target specifications can be  used  wherever  an  X
       screen  is used in query and assignment commands; the target specifica-
       tion can be used either by itself on  the  left  side  of  the  forward
       slash, or as part of an X Display name.

       For example, the following queries address X screen 0 on the localhost:

               nvidia-settings --query 0/VideoRam
               nvidia-settings --query localhost:0.0/VideoRam
               nvidia-settings --query [screen:0]/VideoRam
               nvidia-settings --query localhost:0[screen:0]/VideoRam

       To address GPU 0 instead, you can use either of:

               nvidia-settings --query [gpu:0]/VideoRam
               nvidia-settings --query localhost:0[gpu:0]/VideoRam

       Note  that if a target specification is present, it will override any X
       screen specified in the display name as the  target  to  process.   For
       example, the following query would address GPU 0, and not X screen 1:

            nvidia-settings --query localhost:0.1[gpu:0]/VideoRam

       A  target  name  may  be used instead of a target id, in which case all
       targets with matching names are processed.

       For example, querying the DigitalVibrance of display device DVI-I-1 may
       be done like so:

            nvidia-settings --query [dpy:DVI-I-1]/DigitalVibrance

       When  a  target name is specified, the target type name may be omitted,
       though this should be used with caution since the name will be  matched
       across all target types.  The above example could be written as:

            nvidia-settings --query [DVI-I-1]/DigitalVibrance

       The  target  name  may also simply be a target type name, in which case
       all targets of that type will be queried.

       For exmple, querying the BusRate of all GPUs may be done like so:

            nvidia-settings --query [gpu]/BusRate

       The target specification may also include a target qualifier.  This  is
       useful to limit processing to a subset of targets, based on an existing
       relationship(s) to other targets.  The target qualifier is specified by
       prepending  a target type name, a colon, the target id, and a period to
       the existing specification.  Only one qualitfer may be specified.

       For example, querying the RefreshRate of all DFP devices on GPU  1  may
       be done like so:

            nvidia-settings --query [GPU:1.DPY:DFP]/RefreshRate

       Likewise, a simple target name (or target type name) may be used as the
       qualifier.  For example, to query the BusType of  all  GPUs  that  have
       DFPs can be done like so:

            nvidia-settings --query [DFP.GPU]/BusType

       See the output of

               nvidia-settings --query all

       for what targets types can be used with each attribute.  See the output

               nvidia-settings --query screens --query gpus --query framelocks --query vcs --query gvis --query fans --query thermalsensors --query svps --query dpys

       for lists of targets for each target type.

       To enable support for the "GPUGraphicsClockOffset" and "GPUMemoryTrans-
       ferRateOffset"  attributes,  ensure that the "Coolbits" X configuration
       option includes the value "8" in the bitmask.  For more details,  refer
       to  the  documentation  of  the  "Coolbits" option in the NVIDIA driver
       README.  Query the "GPUPerfModes" string attribute to see a list of the
       available performance modes:

            nvidia-settings --query GPUPerfModes

       Each  performance  mode  is  presented  as  a  comma-separated  list of
       "token=value" pairs.  Each set of performance mode tokens is  separated
       by  a  ";".   The  "perf"  token  indicates the performance level.  The
       "*editable" tokens indicate which domains within the performance  level
       can have an offset applied.  The "GPUGraphicsClockOffset" and "GPUMemo-
       ryTransferRateOffset" attributes map respectively to the "nvclock"  and
       "memtransferrate"  tokens  of  performance levels in the "GPUPerfModes"

       Note that the clock  manipulation  attributes  "GPUGraphicsClockOffset"
       and "GPUMemoryTransferRateOffset" apply to the offsets of specific per-
       formance levels.  The performance level is specified in square brackets
       after the attribute name.  For example, to query the "GPUGraphicsClock-
       Offset" for performance level 2:

            nvidia-settings --query GPUGraphicsClockOffset[2]

       The --assign option can be used to assign a new value to an  attribute.
       The  valid  values  for an attribute are reported when the attribute is
       queried.  The syntax for --assign is the  same  as  --query,  with  the
       additional requirement that assignments also have an equal sign and the
       new value.  For example:

               nvidia-settings --assign FSAA=2
               nvidia-settings --assign [CRT-1]/DigitalVibrance=9
               nvidia-settings --assign [gpu:0]/DigitalVibrance=0
               nvidia-settings --assign [gpu:0]/GPUGraphicsClockOffset[2]=10

       Multiple queries and assignments may be specified on the  command  line
       for  a single invocation of nvidia-settings.  Assignments are processed
       in the order they are entered on the command line.  If multiple assign-
       ments  are  made  to  the same attribute or to multiple attributes with
       dependencies, then the later assignments will have priority.

       If either the --query or --assign options  are  passed  to  nvidia-set-
       tings,  the  GUI  will  not be presented, and nvidia-settings will exit
       after processing the assignments and/or queries.  In  this  case,  set-
       tings  contained  within  the  ~/.nvidia-settings-rc configuration file
       will not be automatically uploaded  to  the  X  server,  nor  will  the
       ~/.nvidia-settings-rc  configuration  file  be automatically updated to
       reflect attribute assignments made via the --assign option.

   5. X Display Names in the Config File
       In the Command Line Interface section above, it was noted that you  can
       specify  an  attribute without any X Display qualifiers, with only an X
       screen qualifier, or with a full X Display name.  For example:

               nvidia-settings --query FSAA
               nvidia-settings --query 0/FSAA
               nvidia-settings --query stravinsky.nvidia.com:0/FSAA

       In the first two cases, the default X Display will be used, in the sec-
       ond  case, the screen from the default X Display can be overridden, and
       in the third case, the entire default X Display can be overridden.

       The same possibilities are available in the ~/.nvidia-settings-rc  con-
       figuration file.

       For  example,  in a computer lab environment, you might log into any of
       multiple workstations, and your home directory is NFS mounted  to  each
       workstation.   In  such a situation, you might want your ~/.nvidia-set-
       tings-rc file to be applicable to all the workstations.  Therefore, you
       would  not  want  your  config file to qualify each attribute with an X
       Display Name.  Leave the "Include X Display Names in the  Config  File"
       option unchecked on the nvidia-settings Configuration page (this is the

       There may be cases when you do want attributes in the config file to be
       qualified  with the X Display name.  If you know what you are doing and
       want config file attributes to be qualified with an  X  Display,  check
       the  "Include  X  Display  Names  in  the  Config  File"  option on the
       nvidia-settings Configuration page.

       In the typical home user environment where your home directory is local
       to  one  computer  and  you are only configuring one X Display, then it
       does not matter whether each attribute setting is qualified with  an  X
       Display Name.

   6. Connecting to Remote X Servers
       nvidia-settings  is  an  X client, but uses two separate X connections:
       one to display the GUI,  and  another  to  communicate  the  NV-CONTROL
       requests.   These  two  X  connections  do not need to be to the same X
       server.  For example, you might run  nvidia-settings  on  the  computer
       stravinsky.nvidia.com,   export   the  display  to  the  computer  bar-
       tok.nvidia.com, but be configuring the X server on the computer schoen-

               nvidia-settings --display=bartok.nvidia.com:0 \

       If  --ctrl-display  is  not specified, then the X Display to control is
       what --display indicates.  If --display is also not specified, then the
       $DISPLAY environment variable is used.

       Note, however, that you will need to have X permissions configured such
       that you can establish an X connection from the computer on  which  you
       are  running  nvidia-settings  (stravinsky.nvidia.com)  to the computer
       where you are displaying the GUI (bartok.nvidia.com) and  the  computer
       whose X Display you are configuring (schoenberg.nvidia.com).

       The  simplest, most common, and least secure mechanism to do this is to
       use 'xhost' to allow access from the computer on which you are  running

               (issued from bartok.nvidia.com)
               xhost +stravinsky.nvidia.com

               (issued from schoenberg.nvidia.com)
               xhost +stravinsky.nvidia.com

       This  will  allow all X clients run on stravinsky.nvidia.com to connect
       and display on  bartok.nvidia.com's  X  server  and  configure  schoen-
       berg.nvidia.com's X server.

       Please see the xauth(1) and xhost(1) man pages, or refer to your system
       documentation on remote X applications and security.   You  might  also
       Google for terms such as "remote X security" or "remote X Windows", and
       see documents such as the Remote X Apps mini-HOWTO:

            Please also note that the remote X server to be controlled must be
       using the NVIDIA X driver.

   7. Licensing
       The source code to nvidia-settings is released as GPL.  The most recent
       official version of the source code is available here:

            Note that nvidia-settings is simply an NV-CONTROL client.  It uses
       the  NV-CONTROL  X extension to communicate with the NVIDIA X server to
       query current settings and make changes to settings.

       You can make additions directly to nvidia-settings, or write  your  own
       NV-CONTROL client, using nvidia-settings as an example.

       Documentation on the NV-CONTROL extension and additional sample clients
       are available in the nvidia-settings source tarball.   Patches  can  be
       submitted to linux-bugs@nvidia.com.

   8. TODO
       There  are  many  things  still to be added to nvidia-settings, some of
       which include:

       -      different toolkits?  The  GUI  for  nvidia-settings  is  cleanly
              abstracted  from the back-end of nvidia-settings that parses the
              configuration file and command line,  communicates  with  the  X
              server, etc.  If someone were so inclined, a different front-end
              GUI could be implemented.

       -      write  a  design  document  explaining  how  nvidia-settings  is
              designed;  presumably  this  would  make it easier for people to
              become familiar with the code base.

       If there are other things you would like to see added (or  better  yet,
       would like to add yourself), please contact linux-bugs@nvidia.com.


              Starts the nvidia-settings graphical interface.

       nvidia-settings --load-config-only
              Loads the settings stored in ~/.nvidia-settings-rc and exits.

       nvidia-settings --rewrite-config-file
              Writes     the     current    X    server    configuration    to
              ~/.nvidia-settings-rc file and exits.

       nvidia-settings --query FSAA
              Query the value of the full-screen antialiasing setting.

       nvidia-settings --assign RedGamma=2.0 --assign  BlueGamma=2.0  --assign
              Set the gamma of the screen to 2.0.

       Aaron Plattner
       NVIDIA Corporation


       Copyright (C) 2010 NVIDIA Corporation.

nvidia-settings 340.104           2017-09-14                nvidia-settings(1)